Device records smells to play back later

Pambuk Somboon and other engineers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology are building an odour recorder. Point the gadget at a freshly baked cookie, for example, and it will analyse its odour and reproduce it for you using a host of non-toxic chemicals.

The device could be used to allow online shoppers to sniff foods before they buy it, to add an extra dimension to virtual reality environments and to assist doctors treating soldiers remotely by recreating bile, blood or urine odours that might help a diagnosis.

The system will use 15 chemical-sensing microchips, or electronic noses, to pick up a broad range of aromas. These are then used to create a digital recipe from a set of 96 chemicals that can be chosen according to the purpose of each individual gadget. When you want to replay a smell, drops from the relevant vials are mixed, heated and vaporised. In tests so far, the system has successfully recorded and reproduced the smell of orange, lemon, apple, banana and melon.

Via New Scientist.

Smelly projects: SpotScents, the scent projector, Brands must come to their senses, Trained wasps to sniff out chemicals and ulcers, Coded smells to give orders, Digital fragrance, Jenny Tillotson’s Fragrance delivery brooch set and aromatic dress, Urban Olfactory Installation.

Smell fun: Wallpaper for succulent space, Wake n’ Bacon.